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Woodland Mist Academy

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Posts posted by Woodland Mist Academy

  1. WMA, I don't think I said 5 was too few did I? I'm trying to find where I said that and don't see it. I am trying to say that kiddo did not do a ton (and by ton I mean multiples of ECs just for the sake of doing them). :001_smile:


    I'm confused. I didn't say you did, did I?  :)  Although I suppose given the thread in general, someone might come to that conclusion. (Not because you said it, just from various posts.)


    I'm glad you posted this though. When you said kiddo did not do a ton, I didn't interpret that as meaning he didn't do multiple ECs just for the sake of doing them. I just read that as he didn't do many. Then I was surprised how many he did and how deep they were. That's why I commented what I did.  :)  


    (I had been just skimming posts in various threads and wasn't following this in depth, so maybe my response was out in left field.  :laugh: )

    • Like 1

  2. Agreed.  Lord knows I do not advocate avoiding any stressful or competitive or time-consuming ECs.  I had a competitive gymnast (25 hours/week), a competitive swimmer (9 practices/week) and a travel baseball player; heck, "go big or go home" is one of our family's philosophies.  But I do not think a dilettante approach to ECs, 2 years of French club, a year of Quiz Bowl, 3 years of HS swim, 2 years of orchestra, etc., Knitting Club, etc., is going to get anyone into a competitive college.  Adcoms are not stupid; they know who is picking up ECs to check imaginary boxes.


    In some ways, isn't this a little sad, though? A teen who hasn't found a passion or path might experiment with activities instead and is therefore at a disadvantage, right? Thus being perceived as  someone picking up ECs to check boxes. 


    (Not the case here, thankfully, but it's something I've thought about in other situations.)

    • Like 7

  3. What an awesome list of ECs — they show true passion and commitment (pursued long term) and paint a vivid picture of the amazing, creative, unique person he is.  :thumbup1:




    But all those activities are self-directed and seem like things he would do anyway, for fun, whether he was 10 or 20 or 60. That's a stark contrast to kids who are doing structured sports, structured music lessons, Saturday School language classes, and 5 or 6 after school clubs — most of which they will drop and never pick up again once they've achieved the goal of college admissions. For so many kids the ECs are just a means to an end; it's obvious that for Quark's son, the activities are an end in themselves.



    I agree, but that wasn't my point. My point is that it seems perhaps we I should start phrasing things in a way that doesn't always compare. It seems there is quite enough of that in every facet of these teens' lives. 


    It's a system gone mad. I can't change the system, but I can change how I act within that system. I can be honest in conversations that my teen has a solid list of ECs regardless if someone has more. She has enough. That's all that matters. (Enough to be in the running, not guaranteed admission -- that's crazy talk!) As it's been shown over and over, the kid who manages to survive with the most credits and EC's isn't always the one that's admitted.


    I just happened to respond to quark's post, and I know she was making the very point that you don't have to have the most to be admitted. I was just sort of wondering aloud about how comparison language sometimes colors what we are trying to say.


    I will say that I forgot this was the UC thread, and I was speaking in general. I've been on many similar threads today and perhaps posted on the wrong one. Mea culpa.  ;)

    • Like 2

  4. I agree that it feels subjective but WMA, when you look at the applications, many portals only allow you to list five ECs. Many of our friends struggle with what to cut down from their list to fit those five spaces. My kiddo had exactly five and didn't feel like entering ECs was a struggle. Look ma, I have five things to say and there are five spots to say them! think it's subjective depending on where you live too. Our friends' kids don't just do piano or badminton but also cello, violin, trumpet, sax, on top of piano and tennis, soccer, swimming, basketball on top of badminton. Compared to all of that my kiddo did very few!


    And thank you! Sometimes it still feels like a dream!


    I agree, but still... when you look at what he did with the math research etc, it may not be 10 or 15, but they are also not insignificant ECs. 


    I have the same reaction when I hear of kids "only" taking 6 or 7 APs.  I know many kids take more than twice that, but that doesn't mean that 6 or 7 is nothing. I just wonder sometimes how our own language and the phrasing we use perpetuates the idea that more is more.


    For the record, I live in a bubble area as well, which is part of the reason I've been thinking about this lately.

    • Like 4

  5. The kid was accepted to 5/5 UCs applied to.


    What kid didn't do:


    - do a ton of ECs



    What kid did:

    -  very interest-led math research opportunity via AoPS

    - obviously fun-oriented ECs like improv comedy and zumba and doing those ECs over a period of time

    - only one community service project but doing it over a period of time

    -  producing artwork after artwork that was green-heavy

    - very single minded focus on jazz piano and singing, emceeing, and playing keyboard at community college concerts including creating a Twitter account simply to connect with a Bollywood composer to ask for his score, not hearing back, and improvising score on his own, and singing the song to the CC audience with voice cracking due to puberty despite not knowing a word of Hindi





    This is where everything seems a bit subjective... I look at what he did and think --WOW! That's a lot of extra-curriculars. Yes, I know there are kids that do many, many more. Still, the amount he did doesn't seem insignificant to me.


    BTW, congrats on the acceptances!!  :hurray:

    • Like 2

  6. Regarding advisors...


    My teen chose a mentor she was already working with on other projects. It's been nice to have someone that knows her and her goals and has a long-term connection with her. Some teens who didn't already have mentors have met with various people in the community before choosing. I know some parents on this thread have teens that have taken that approach.

    • Like 1

  7. Oh my.


    I don't know if I would have met that with a strike on tasty food from the kitchen or been tempted to bring in a couple of scabs to go on some wonderful field trip. I would have found my patience very stretched. I have one who would have made a great homeschool unionizer if he'd thought of it.


    The field trip plan could quite possibly backfire. There may be no sudden change of heart. Instead there may a hearty farewell and pleas to not hurry back. Or, alternatively, there may be just an eye roll.   ;)  



    food as a negotiator was not an option. the oldest had the chest freezer in his bedroom and the second oldest had to walk through the pantry to get to his bedroom. I knew that a food war was something that I would not win - 


    Food was not a feasible negotiating point here either. I'm not sure it should be anyway. In fact, sometimes my approach is just the opposite -- extra attention to the basics of good food, enough rest, and lots and lots of love from a safe distance. 


    (A side note: Anorexia and other eating disorders can involve an aspect of control. Every family and every child is different, but introducing food in any way as leverage might not go as planned...)

    • Like 5


    All of the above wardrobes can produce polished, effortless looks. 


    Rethinking effortless...


    I remembered something that I recently read  (I can't remember where) that questioned the idea of "effortless" in regards to dress. Maybe effortless isn't the correct word to use. It takes effort to take care of one's self and one's clothes. Putting together a wardrobe -- capsule or otherwise -- takes effort. 


    Rolling out of bed and going out in public in nightclothes (or clothes we slept in from the day before) is effortless. Somehow I don't think that's the look most of us are hoping to achieve...  ;)

  9. All of the following can be done in a minimalist way or on a grand scale:

    • capsule wardrobe that one can mix and match for several somewhat different looks 
    • complete outfits that can be worn in rotation 
    • identical sets of a signature uniform

    There are many variables to consider -- not the least of which is how minimalism is defined. So much is in the eye of the beholder. What may be minimalist for one is extravagant to another. 


    All of the above wardrobes can produce polished, effortless looks. They each have pros and cons. Personality matters. Know thy self.


    (ETA: I'm not a minimalist. Less is not always more.  ;)  I have, however, at various times done a variation of all three wardrobes I've listed above.  I've settled somewhat on the middle path. )

    • Like 1

  10. In order for there to be used books to be given away freely or sold for super cheap prices, someone has to buy them new in the beginning. It takes people on both ends for the cycle to work. If you have the resources to spend on books, I wouldn't worry too much about what others spend. I consider money spent on books not only an investment in my family's future, but an investment in the future of the families who will be given the books some day down the road. Often books we've passed on to others have then been passed on again and again.

    • Like 8

  11. And this is one other place where, just because of one of my own kids, I found a bit of the book surprising: the lines on p. 206 about what to do if one of your kids refuses to do their schoolwork. I thought she could have reworded the lines, "That's not our family dynamic. Defiance is a no go" to better express that she did not have a child like that without suggesting that the reason she didn't have a child like that was due entirely to her family dynamic. Now, granted, I don't have a kid who is "so oppositional that have no power to give assignments", but with my most challenging child, I have found that other kids' whining, complaining, foot dragging, careless work, and leaving stuff unfinished (which SWB describes as normal defiance) are forms of defiance/resistance that elude her. Her defiance looks a lot worse and more extreme, but in a way it is sometimes easier to confront than the passive resistance my other children mount, because once we figure out what works for her, it works.


    So perhaps there are steps between this kind of oppositional behavior and the professional counseling and family therapy recommended by SWB (again, to be fair, see her definition of oppositional above) that might be undertaken by parents who are willing to "rethink" things. I could be wrong, but I think she could have softened this by saying something along the lines of, "There are experts on this kind of situation, but I am not one of them, so I am not comfortable advising on it." And then she could have advised visiting TWTM Learning Challenges board, given some recommended resources, and advised parents to seek professional help if this situation doesn't seem to respond to changes we make in your teaching and parenting.




    Regarding defiance: I felt the same way about a video (I think it was a question/answer one) in which SWB makes a similar statement about their family dynamic and defiance. It seemed there could have been a better way to address the issue. I agree with your suggested statement recommending experts. 



    Does my interpretation seem super off-base to others who have struggled with outright defiance and refusal to do work? It happens to be my most driven kid who has been most difficult, and as it turns out, I like that I can't bribe her to do her work with chocolate, know what I mean? It's inconvenient, but man, if I raise her right, she is going to be a person with rock-solid integrity who can stand her ground even in the face of M&Ms.  :lol:


    :laugh:  :001_wub:


    The idea of raising a strong and independent daughter is all fine and good until that moment when you realize you are indeed raising a strong and independent daughter.  :svengo:

    (Maybe because of family dynamics, maybe in spite of them. Genetics and all that.  ;) )


    Knowing which behaviors are weeds that need to be pulled and which behaviors are wildflowers that need the right combination of nurturing, staking, and benign neglect is tough. tough. tough.


    Knee deep in of mud of defiance, visions of mountainsides covered with wildflowers are less frequent than visions of vans down by the river...

    • Like 9

  12. Another company I like is April Cornell.  I find I have to be a bit careful about fit as the dresses tend to be boxy, and a whole outfit in her fabrics could be overwhelming, but there are some beautiful things, and the fabric and quality are really good.  Things I bought from them 20 years ago are in excellent shape still. Sale prices are very good too.


    How have you found the sizing with April Cornell? I agree about much of the clothing looking boxy. (At least from what I've seen on the website.)  There seems to be quite a bit of extra fabric with some of the dresses. Is it overwhelming for daily wear?

  13. I haven't read the book yet, but I listened to the interviews with Andrew Kern and I identify with what you're saying. I agreed with everything SWB said in the interviews, but I was surprised to hear these ideas from her! It could be that I've mostly read SWB's books in the past as opposed to listening to her talks; it can be hard to judge tone from reading alone. I had to abandon WTM methods pretty quickly with my autism spectrum and multiple learning disabilities kiddo. I embraced CM philosophy whole heartedly only to realize that open ended narration is a terrible fit for a kid like mine. I'm trying to redefine everything, work with the child I have, all while giving him the best education possible.

    I go into all of that just to say that I picked up on the tension too. I heard Julie Bogart say in one of her podcasts that all homeschoolers eventually move from a philosophy of education to "us schooling," as in the unique blend of methods and materials that work for each individual family. I think that is the point I'm coming to this year.


    I agree. (An interesting aside:  Charlotte Mason mentions something similar in one of her books.)


    I remember going through a period of disillusionment with various methods and feeling like a failure for not be able to follow any one path. Then it dawned on me that I wasn't at a point of failure, but instead we were in the midst of a period of growth. 


    Now I can look back and see the beauty and magic of the path we took. That wasn't always the case. When we first veered off the path I'd envisioned and dreamed of for years and years, there were many, many dark nights of the soul...


    :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  to anyone feeling lost, confused, and alone on the path...

    • Like 7

  14. Really? Is there anywhere to read more info about this?


    I was told there would be changes when I emailed asking questions about the Rhetoric classes. I'm not sure if there's anything posted yet or not. I haven't seen anything.


    ETA: I might have misunderstood, but it is my understanding that more info about the updated classes would be available by Feb. 15 when registration begins.

    • Like 1

  15. ok so i tallied from this past year, with my 10th grader outsourcing all... we used WHA, WTMA, HSA, CfL, Roy Speed, WAH, PAH (x3), Thinkwell...grand total just under $5K. Looking at next year's line up, I'm in the $2700 range. Whew! Much better. And that's including a pricey WHA AP class, plus student services fee - making it a costly single class. ;)



    I'm curious why you used so many online providers this past year.  Did your son have 10 classes, including 3 APs? I'm presuming they weren't all of the same caliber -- live classes, etc. 


    (ETA: We outsource everything as well, but unless we used multiple providers for some classes, I can't imagine needing 10 providers. We aren't doing 10 credits a year, so there's that...)


    Glad the costs are looking better for you this year!

  16. oh totally understand! esp as we had a meh PAH experience last year (wasted money) but enjoying our 3 PAH classes this year very much.


    it's just more for those of us who pick and choose curriculum providers - then that $100 or whatever admin fee doesn't spread out amongst many classes, but is tacked onto a single class, making a $650 class $750, or $599 class $600. kwim?


    fwiw - i am tallying our classes from last year and see that PAH AP Chem has raised prices to $819 for next year. So the price increases are really just across the board. Well worth it, for sure - but still going to price out many homeschoolers soon. ;)


    Given that I'm one of those who pick and choose curriculum providers (to the tune of 3-4+ different online schools each year), I understand exactly. I am still happy to pay the fees that allow for a better experience.  I consider the fees a worthwhile investment.

    • Like 2
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